News The 'death mask' was almost certainly taken by Francis Burton, a British surgeon in attendance at Napoleon's death

The plaster mask was sold for £175,000 to an overseas buyer earlier this year by a descendant of the brother of its original owner

Traveller's Guide: Canoe & kayak holidays in Europe

Whether you want the thrill of white water or a gentle meander down river, there's a paddling trip for you, says Rhiannon Batten

Honor Frost: Diver who pioneered the discipline of underwater archaeology

The end of an era – this was the reaction on hearing of the unexpected death of Honor Frost: the end of the heroic age of pioneering aqualung diving and its impact on archaeology.

Major museums blocked from using reserves totalling £285m

Tens of millions of pounds held in the reserve accounts of Britain's major museums – much of it donated by private donations and bequests – is frozen by the Treasury, despite the arts being in the midst of the biggest funding crisis in a generation.

Has TV adventurer found Franklin's lost Arctic expedition?

Bear Grylls and his crew stumble across human bones, the remains of fires and whale-bone tools on a remote Canadian island

Picturing the night sky

This eerie image of an ancient bristlecone pine set against the backdrop of the Milky Way while a meteor streaked across the night sky has won the National Maritime Museum's annual astronomy photographic competition.

Richard Walker: Art historian who became Curator of the Palace of Westminster

It was a characteristically modest and exact description; Richard Walker knew better than anyone the art of cataloguing, describing what he saw economically and precisely, yet evoking the picture as vividly as if you could see it.

Hitting a high note: How pupils are singing their way into the history books

A campaign aims to boost young people's knowledge of important facts through song. But will it work, asks Warwick Mansell

How Britannia came to rule the waves

History has it that a clockmaker beat the scientific establishment to crack the longitude problem. But did he really?

Claud Wright: Senior civil servant who was also a leading expert in geology, palaeontology and archaeology

In the War Office there were a lot of old fossils. But the one who was the real fossil was Claud William Wright. He was not only a senior administrative civil servant, and when transferred to the Ministry of Education the first Permanent Secretary, in effect, to Lord Eccles' Ministry of the Arts under Margaret Thatcher, but also from an early age, a leading geologist, palaeontologist and archaeologist.

Travel Agenda: National Maritime Museum Cornwall; San Francisco's Asian Art Museum; Amanyara resort

Today: Throw light on the towers that protect ships from hazardous coastlines: the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth opens an exhibition entitled "Lighthouses: Life on the Rocks". Running for two years, it will display a four-ton optic, reconstructed living quarters, artefacts, photos and narratives (

North-West Passage: An Arctic Obsession, National Maritime Museum, London

Sound sets the scene. When you pass through the doors, you are assailed by the bone-chilling noise of howling winds, and the crepitation of ice. Welcome to an exhibition about the fabled North-West Passage, a source of endless, greed-driven fascination, and often fruitless and tragic endeavour, for centuries. Was it somehow possible to travel by sea from the North Atlantic to the North Pacific, passing through the ice-bound waters of Alaska? Many tried. Many perished. John Cabot, sailing in 1497, believed that it would give him access to the fabled riches of the Far East. There then followed five hundred years of failure. Yes, it was not until 1906 that a Norwegian called Roald Amundsen achieved the near impossible, threading his way through, quite modestly, in a small herring boat.

Hadrian's Wall secures Lottery funding

Hadrian's Wall and the National Maritime Museum have secured £9m funding, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced today.

Israeli magnate bails out 'Cutty Sark' with £3m gift

The Cutty Sark has been saved after a £3.3m donation by a reclusive shipping magnate. Sammy Ofer, a Romanian-born Israeli who served with the Royal Navy as a young man, has provided enough money to ensure the full renovation of the 1869 clipper in Greenwich, south-east London.

Simon Patterson, National Maritime Museum, London

Cast adrift on a sea of old ideas

Shipping boss makes record museum donation

A Romanian-Israeli shipping magnate has donated £20m to the National Maritime Museum in what is believed to be the largest single donation by an individual to a cultural project in Britain.

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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions